The Liberal Democrats have said regional development agencies (RDAs) should be stripped of their powers over housing, planning, transport and skills and refocus entirely on enterprise and economic development.
The Lib Dems have changed their stance to fall in line with Conservative thinking on the issue, which advocates the slimming down of regional development agencies in favour of transferring some of their powers over housing and planning to local authorities.
A party spokesman said certain regional development agencies should be scaled down and renamed Regional Enterprise Boards (REBs) to reflect their renewed dedication to business development under Lib Dem proposals.
The Lib Dems’ business spokesman, John Thurso, said a full-scale reorganisation of RDAs could see them split up into sub-regional bodies to reflect the withdrawal of certain powers.
However, areas in which the work of RDAs was particularly highly valued, such as the North East and Yorkshire, would have the option of maintaining the current set-up.